"South Africa appears to be a nation of givers: over half of respondents (54%) gave money to charities or other causes, a third (31%) gave food or goods to charities or other causes, while slightly less than a fifth (17%) volunteered time for a charity or cause, in the month prior to being interviewed. In addition to giving to formalised institutions or causes, slightly less than half of respondents told us they gave money and/or goods (45% respectively) not to formal charities but directly to the poor – street children, people begging on the street and so on."

Gill Bates, the chief executive of Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) Southern Africa, reports that the 2017 CAF World Giving Index shows that that in trying times, South Africans still tried to help where they could. “There is a new surge of energy on the continent and in South Africa, within the philanthropy, development and corporate social investment space, which is exciting to see,” says Bates.

The annual CAF World Giving Index looks at how and why people around the world give to charity. It’s compiled from data from 139 countries, representing 95% of the world’s population. The report includes questions about three different types of giving behaviour --  helping a stranger, donating money, volunteering time -- and ranks each country accordingly. 

Despite challenging economic circumstances, the South Africa Giving 2017 report reveals that individuals in South Africa – particularly the younger generation – continue to give of their time and money to assist individuals and communities in need.

Detailing the different ways that people in South Africa donate and volunteer, this report covers how much money on average is donated by individuals, which causes people give to, how people like to give, as well as what motivates people to give.

Individual giving refers to people from a variety of economic and social backgrounds giving of their funds, knowledge and time towards a common good. Individual donors account for more than three-quarters of charitable donations every year and most non-profit organisations rely on individual donors for ongoing, regular support.

Much individual giving is done through viral fundraising.  In recent years this has been evident through the rise in popularity of Crowdfunding, a financing method that involves funding a project with modest contributions from a larger group of people, rather than seeking large sums from a small group of investors. These funding campaigns are typically conducted online through specific crowdfunding sites, usually working in conjunction with the various social network platforms. The basic premise is to convince enough people to contribute to reach a target figure. Crowdfunding is successful as it allows the individual an effective way to support a cause - no matter how big or small the contribution.

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by Mzamo Masito, Sarah Collins, Didi Mogashoa 

Philanthropy is most often associated with big names and big money, the distant domain of foundations and billionaires. But, in Africa, a culture of giving is part of the fabric of our lives and our communities. The word ‘philanthropy’ is derived from the Greek terms ‘to love’ and ‘human being’. Understanding philanthropy in this broader sense – as a simple love of humanity – opens many opportunities for ordinary people to get involved in helping their communities on a small scale, and to understand that what they are doing is indeed philanthropy. Creating and supporting sustainable solutions is not restricted to large financial investments; it is also a matter of building on community values.

"When we discuss philanthropy within the African continent, too often the focus is on the wealthiest class of Africans and the large contributions they can make. However, what matters more when it comes to charitable giving is the potential for billions of aggregate dollars from millions of small givers.

For instance, two million Somalis abroad send home $1.4 billion, the equivalent to 23 per cent of the country’s GDP, and higher than any amount of foreign aid. Overall, African diaspora’s contribution amounts to $63 billion per year. Communities use it for education, homebuilding, land purchases and farm improvements, all critical enablers of social transformation.

We cannot ignore the philanthropic potential of their contributions. Imagine if the African diaspora redirected $315 million or 0.5 per cent of their annual transfers, to civil society organizations."

This report presents an analytical framework for documenting and highlighting the different types of philanthropic activity being pursued in Africa by individuals, communities, and organisations.

It first lays out an overall framework for thinking about different forms of philanthropy and then identifies four categories of philanthropic activity that have been the focus of this first exercise. We estimate the potential size of each category where possible, and highlight emerging observations from the 150 organizations and individuals that were profiled.

The report also offers an analysis of broader trends both continent-wide and in the data available for different parts of Africa and the Diaspora, and we conclude with some suggested areas for further work to deepen knowledge in this field.

Source details:

This report was produced for the African Grantmakers Network (AGN) by Dalberg Research and Dalberg Global Development Advisors. The AGN committee that guided the production of the report included Halima Mahomed and Bhekinkosi Moyo from TrustAfrica. The production of the report was managed by the Southern Africa Trust. © 2013 African Grantmakers Network

Amid a challenging economic environment in 2015, this third Giving Report confirms South African HNW individuals’ continued commitment to giving back to society. The results across the three Giving Reports – spanning a five-year period – are remarkably consistent and show that the vast majority of HNW individuals give to social causes they care about over the long term without formalised structures or strategies.

"Crowdfunding is a financing method that involves funding a project with relatively modest contributions from a large group of individuals, rather than seeking substantial sums from a small number of investors. The funding campaign and transactions are typically conducted online through dedicated crowdfunding sites, often in conjunction with social networking sites. Depending on the project, campaign contributors may be essentially making donations, investing for a potential future return on investment (ROI), or prepaying for a product or service."